In an interview with Mr Eberhard Kern, Managing Direction and CEO, Mercedes-Benz India we learnt several things the German automaker is planning for the future. At the moment, Mercedes-Benz is the second largest luxury car manufacturer in India with respect to sales. We speak to the MD to find out Mercedes-Benz’s future plans for the country.
Q1) The E-Class has been launched, but it has come with only two engines, when can we expect the V6 engines to be launched?
Ans) We are working on the emission norms of the V6 engines for the E-Class at the moment, and we will soon be coming out with the new engine variants on the E-Class. We introduced the E200 and E250 already and the others will follow very soon.
Q2) Mercedes-Benz has launched several products before the festive season this time. What do we expect during the festive season in terms of products?
Ans) Yes, we have launched most of our products in the first half of the year, in the second half we will focus on production and reduce the delivery time for our valuable customers.
Q3) What is the trend of the customers procuring MFA platform vehicles?
Ans) Most of them are young, who are either first-time buyers or they have owned other three-pointed star vehicles in the family. It is a actually a mix, and some have gone about selling their existing second/third non-Mercedes-Benz vehicles and got the A-Class or the B-Class as a new vehicle.
Q4) Manufacturers like Audi have introduced mid-range models, something between the regular sedans and their performance edition and named it the S range. Has Mercedes-Benz also planned to get something in that segment?
Ans) We aren’t sure of good successful this segment is and we are studying it. If it is successful, we will also introduce vehicles with powerful engines, but we will get diesel powered instead of petrol.
Q5) When the CLA comes to India, will it be placed below the C-Class or at par with it?
Ans) We haven’t decided anything on that for the Indian market, however globally the CLA is placed below the C-Class, as the CLA is a compact luxury sedan. We will ideally follow the same trend for India as well.